cnbc.com/2021/11/23/mj-giannis-back-luxury-watch-start-up-watchbox-1-billion-valuation.html
WatchBox, a secondary marketplace for watches, attracted Michael Jordan and Giannis Antetokounmpo, as well as other athletes, in a financing round that values the company at close to $1 billion. The company said it's on track to generate $300 million in revenue in 2021. Demand is soaring for luxury watches from companies including Rolex, Patek, Audemars and Richard Mille.

Michael Jordan has six NBA championship rings. He also likes watches.

The five-time NBA most valuable player, who now owns the Charlotte Hornets, joined a list of athletes to invest in WatchBox, a site that allows people to buy, sell, and trade luxury watches. Brands include Richard Mille, a favorite of NBA players.

WatchBox said on Tuesday that it raised $165 million in its latest financing round. Joining Jordan were Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning championship MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks owner Marc Lasry, Phoenix Suns stars Chris Paul and Devin Booker, and Wall Street investor Bill Ackman, among others.

WatchBox, based outside of Philadelphia, has reeled in $260 million since its founding in 2017. While the company did not disclose its latest valuation, people with knowledge of the matter told CNBC that it's approaching $1 billion. The individuals asked not to be named because the valuation is private.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, WatchBox CEO Justin Reis said the company is on pace for $300 million in net revenue this year, and could seek an IPO in the future.

WatchBox has an inventory valued at $150 million. Rather than serving as a marketplace for peer-to-peer transactions, the company buys and trades luxury watches from sellers. It then authenticates the products and resells them to collectors and other buyers, capturing transaction fees in the process.

"It's no different than dealing with Goldman Sachs," Reis said of the platform. "We have client advisors that you speak to and also manage your portfolio of...

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